Email Marketing For Nonprofits: 10 Tips

Email Marketing For Nonprofits: 10 Tips

Email marketing is an invaluable tool for any organization. Do it correctly, and it’s a highly effective strategy for connecting with your audience and providing value to them. But how do you approach email marketing for nonprofits?

In this blog post, we will explore eight actionable tips to make the most out of your email campaigns. If you work at a nonprofit, any of these tips consistently implemented can greatly increase the impact of your email marketing.

Email Marketing For Nonprofits

1) Craft Compelling Subject Lines

Your subject line is the very first thing your recipients see. You need to ensure it’s attention-grabbing and relevant. Here are some things to keep in mind to make your subject lines effective:

  • Personalization: People want to be spoken directly to. That’s why you’ll want to use merge tags.
  • Urgency: To get anybody to act (especially if it’s a time-limited fundraiser), you need to implement urgency. Use words that get people to act.
  • Curiosity: Are people so interested in your subject line that they feel a need to open your email? If so, you’re implementing curiosity correctly!

2) Segment Your Audience

In email marketing for nonprofits, segmentation can lead to higher engagement rates. This results in a more valuable list through more personalized communication.

There are numerous data points that you can segment your list on. These can include geographic location, interests, and even engagement levels.

Most of the best email service providers allow you to do this quite easily. You can then send highly targeted emails.

3) Use Storytelling

One of the best marketing strategies for any organization is storytelling. A good story is how you make people feel connected to your cause, as well as get them invested in what you have to say.

Email marketing for nonprofits works exactly the same. Each email you send is a chance to tell impactful stories that resonate with your audience.

As for the stories that you tell? An effective story for your nonprofit can take many forms. Consider success stories of the people you have helped, testimonials from individuals that have benefited from your projects, or real-life examples of the difference your nonprofit is making.

Like anything else, try to use emotion. Emails fueled by emotional stories are how you inspire donors to take action and support your cause.

4) Use Visuals Wisely

Many organizations will choose plain text for their emails. There’s a good reason for this: many people actually prefer simple over heavily designed emails.

However, depending on the kind of of emails you choose to send, visuals can actually help your cause. Eye-catching images grab attention and make your content more engaging. Often, they can also tell your story quicker and more effectively than plain text emails ever could.

Of course, if you’re going to implement visuals in your emails, make sure they are the right ones. Infographics explaining your fundraising goals and photos of your direct recepients, for example, can have a lasting impact on the people reading your emails.

5) Create Compelling Calls-to-Action (CTAs)

What is it you want your email subscribers to do? What action would be considered a “success” for any specific email you send?

You always want your subscribers to actually do something when you send an email. This is where clear and direct CTA’s come in.

Clearly communicate the actions you want your recipients to take. Whether it’s making a donation, signing up for an event, or sharing your content, make your CTAs easy to follow. Use action-oriented language and place them strategically in your emails.

6) Optimize for Mobile Devices

People are increasingly using mobile when they are online. The fact is, many of your donors will interact with your campaigns and fundraisers on their phone.

This is why you should ensure that your emails are mobile-friendly. Test your email templates on various devices to ensure they are easy to read on smaller screens.

7) Create a Welcome Series

One of the best things you can do in email marketing for nonprofits is to craft a welcome series. A well-crafted welcome series does two things: establishes a strong connection with new email subscribers, and engages them immediately. This makes it more likely that they contribute to your fundraisers down the road.

Here are some idea of what you might include:

  • An introduction to your organization and what you do
  • Content that your audience will find valuable
  • Social proof of the people you’ve helped and individuals that have benefited from your organization

The big thing here is to remember that it’s not about you. With this in mind, try to strike a balance between talking about your organization and focusing on the people or causes you have helped.

8) Leverage Automation

Quality email marketing never forgets the value of efficiency. And one of the best ways to be efficient? By leveraging email automation.

Plus, it’s not just that automation is efficient. In addition, automated emails are a superior way of nurturing relationships and maintaining consistent communication with donors.

A welcome series is just one of the ways you can implement automation to your advantage. Depending on your organization and what exactly you do, there are various automated workflows that you might consider implementing.

Here are just a few you might consider:

  • Donation acknowledgments
  • Event reminders
  • Follow-up emails

9) Monitor and Analyze Results

Just like anything else, effective email marketing will be based off of numbers. To reach your goals, it’s necessary to regularly monitor the performance of your email campaigns.

To do this, start by analyzing key metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. These are some of the most important numbers to know.

Once you have, you now have a good idea of what’s working well, as well as the areas that need improvement. You can now dig into the various methods of improving them.

10) Show Appreciation

Email marketing for nonprofits should should be based on concrete goals. That said, one thing you should never forget is that your donors make everything possible.

That’s why you need to utilize your emails to express gratitude and appreciation. Acknowledge their contributions and show them the impact of their support. A simple “thank you” can go a long way in fostering donor loyalty.

Are you an enterprise, nonprofit or small business looking for help on your website? Give us a shout! We provide a free consultation. Email us at or call us at (718) 855-1919!

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